Protection for LGBTQ People in Asylum System
The criminalization and violence inflicted on LGBTQ people in Central America and many other countries around the world is what leads them to head to the borders of the United States to seek asylum.
Thousands of LGBTQ people flee their native homes where they are faced with homophobia, transphobia, and violence. They come to the U.S. in hopes of finding a new home where they can live and exists in safety without the fear of being attacked or even killed. Many come to the U.S. and refugees, meaning they have fled their country due to fear of persecution and are unable to return to their native countries. Though they have fled their home countries, they do not come to the U.S. in hopes of gaining citizenship.
Others come to the U.S. as asylum seekers in hopes of remaining in the U.S. permanently. Many asylum seekers are detained in an immigration detention center or jail for a period that could extend as long as one year. After they have been granted asylum, their status changes in the U.S. and they become asylees and can apply for citizenship five years after their asylum grants.
Though many come to the U.S. seeking asylum, approval is not guaranteed. There are numerous instances where asylum hopefuls are denied asylum and are deported back to their native countries where they face repeated violence and in worse cases, death.
The U.S. asylum system needs to devote special care and attention to the claims of LGBTQ people. They face some of the harshest circumstances should they be forced to return to the brutality of their home countries.